Welcome back to part three of our Raising Money Savvy Kids series! We’ve covered how to teach kids to be money smart, and last week we touched upon why it’s important to teach kids about money. Today we’re going to get into when to teach kids about money. Am I suggesting that you attempt to teach your toddler or newborn? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start young when it comes to teaching kids about money.
When To Teach Kids About Money
You might be surprised to learn that you can start teaching your child about money when they’re two years old. While your child may be older than that right now, it’s important to get started teaching them about money as soon as possible. And it’s never too late to begin.
Let’s take a look at the concepts that you can teach your child at every age.
At this age you can teach your child about the concept of money – in other words, what money is and what it does. You can talk to them about the value of different coins and bills. You can also teach them that money is used to buy things. Playing store is an easy way to begin teaching the concept of money to young children.
Early Elementary School
At this age it’s a great time to start teaching about the difference between a want and a need. Children can help with the grocery shopping and begin to participate in decision making. This is also a great age to begin showing your child how to use a piggy bank and to introduce the concept of an allowance and working for money.
By the end of elementary school they should understand saving money to buy things that they want.
Junior High School
At this age children are more than ready to begin earning money. You can tie allowance to chores or give them opportunities to earn money around the home. It’s also a good time to teach them about saving for their future and for things that they want to buy in the near future. At this age a child can also begin to learn about investing and leveraging their money.
By this time your child should have learned some financial independence. Hopefully, they’ve had the opportunity to work for money and have learned about saving for both short-term and longer-term goals. They may have an investment account and be actively saving money for college.
Once your child is in college they will be well on their way to financial independence. Sure, you may be paying for college and helping them manage their finances.
However, they should also be able to handle the majority of their financial decisions on their own.
So when should you teach your child about money?
It’s never too late or too early to begin teaching your child about money, saving, and investing. Opportunities will arise in everyday situations and every moment can become a teaching moment. Just think about your every day activities.
Have you started talking to your child about money?